I HAVE TO STOP TEXTING WITH MY MOTHER by Paul Beckman

Mom texted to let me know she was going out bar hopping after she got off work. She gets a kick pointing out women she thinks would be good marriage materiel for me. I’ll be on Main Street near the town clock, she wrote, and then she said if I’d like to have dinner out meet up with her.

I drove from work and found a parking space right in front of Bill’s Libations, went in, didn’t see Mom but since there was a couple of stools free at the bar I had myself a Titos Vodka on the rock with two lime wedges. Bill pours a fine drink and this came close to filling the snifter. I ordered some nachos and since I still had half of them left when my glass was empty I ordered another Titos. I’m the kind of guy who likes to even things out. I ate a half a birthday cake once trying to even it out.

I swallowed the last of the vodka with my last nacho and headed out after looking for Mom. I crossed the street and went into the Time Out Tavern, a sports bar, and Mom wasn’t there either so I just ordered a Bud and had some sausage and peppers from the happy hour buffet.

That sobered me up a bit and I certainly didn’t see Mom there so I hit the hoity-toity café where I should have checked first. She wasn’t there but a few friends were so we swapped drinks and lies for a while and about seven pm I texted Mom and asked her which bar she was in and she told me since I didn’t show up to meet her she went home and made a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich on challah and there’s still enough fixings to make me one should I decide to stop drinking and come home.

“I was only drinking because you texted me that you were going bar hopping and I should meet you and we’d go out for a bite.”

“One day your dyslexia’s going to get you in a whole heap of trouble. Call Uber to bring you home and have someone read my text to you.”

I tapped a pretty brunette on the shoulder and asked if she would read me my mother’s text. “My eyes are blurry and I can’t focus,” I told her not wanting to fess up to being dyslexic.

She looked at the text, shot me a look that said you’ve got to get a better pickup line, then shoved the phone back in my hand and turned her back.

I asked the bartender to call Uber for me and then read my text to me. He looked at it and then asked me what I thought it said and I told him my mother texted me that she was going bar hopping and I should meet her. The bartender told me I had it right and sent me out the door to the honking Uber Toyota Corolla.

When I got home, my mother, for some strange reason, wanted to show me the new bras she bought. Some things moms ought to keep to themselves.


Bio: Paul Beckman’s story, “Healing Time” was one of the winners in the 2016 Best of the Small Fictions. His stories are widely published in print and online in the following magazines amongst others: Connecticut Review, Raleigh Review, Litro, Playboy, and Thrice Fiction His latest flash collection is “Peek” and is available from his websites. His published story website is http://www.paulbeckmanstories.com and blog is http://www.pincusb.com Paul hosts the FBomb NY flash fiction reading series monthly at KGB in New York.